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The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

The Bastard of Istanbul refers to 19-year-old Asya, a rebellious young Turkish woman who loves Johnny Cash's music. She lives in a household with her mother and aunts, and her only uncle has emigrated to America. Her uncle's Armenian-American stepdaughter, Armanoush, sneaks off to Istanbul to learn more about her Armenian past. Asya and Armanoush become good friends, intrigued by each other's culture. They discover a secret that links the two families' pasts, tracing back to the 1915 Armenian deportations and massacres. Elif Shafak was prosecuted and acquitted in Turkey for insulting Turkishness with this novel, and it's received mostly positive reviews. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says, "Shafak's characters linger in the mind days after finishing the book, and for that (among other reasons, of course) we are grateful that she is safe at home with her baby and not in jail."
Buy The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
Seattle Times review by Moira Macdonald

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review by Sherrie Flick

Washington Post review by Barry Unsworth

San Francisco Chronicle review by Saul Austerlitz

New York Times review by Lorraine Adams

St. Petersburg Times review by John Freeman

Elif Shafak
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